What’s Moving Markets: JOLTS Survey, Rate Hike Pause, and Trump Arraignment


The JOLTS survey, rate hike pause, and Trump arraignment have all been on the minds of investors today as they assess their portfolios. The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for February will reveal the current state of the labor market, offering insight into how businesses are faring in the ongoing economic recovery. Later in the day, the arraignment of former President Donald Trump in New York will be closely watched, with comments from Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger that could add further fuel to the fire. Oil prices are also set to extend their gains after OPEC unexpectedly announced an output quota cut.

For investors, keeping abreast of these events and understanding how they will influence the markets is key. When the Labor Department releases its JOLTS survey, the report should offer clues on how likely is a rate hike in the near future. Meanwhile the arraignment of Trump could shift the attention back to the upcoming Republican Party primaries and stoke volatility around today’s respective performances of Governor Ron DeSantis and other potential party nominees. And, as oil prices rise, this will be reflected in the prices of oil stocks on Wall Street.

U.S. stocks are likely to open flat ahead of these major events, with the main focus likely to be on Credit Suisse’s last-ever annual shareholder meeting and the FTC’s announcement of its intentions to block the acquisition of Grail by Illumina, Inc. for $7 billion.

Company-wise, Tuesday is an important day for Walt Disney and its CEO, Robert Iger. Iger blasted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ actions to repeal a controversial law, which limited the teaching of gender and sexuality-related issues in state classrooms, as “anti-business” and a potential threat to Disney’s investments in the Sunshine State. As one of the biggest employers in Florida, this clash highlights the balance between protecting workers’ rights and allowing businesses to operate freely.

The day is also likely to be an important benchmark for former President Donald Trump, who is facing arraignment for charges relating to hush-money payments made to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, during the 2016 election campaign. How this case is prosecuted could significantly shape the political landscape in the run-up to the Republican presidential nomination next year.

Finally, the Australian central bank has decided against a rate hike this month, choosing to keep its cash rate unchanged at 3.60%, as market volatility prevents a resumption of the trend in tightening before the back-end of the year. In Europe, meanwhile, German trade data for February showed exports and imports both posting solid growth of around 4% from January, with the country’s six leading economic think tanks set to upgrade their estimates for gross domestic product this year to growth of 0.3%.

All in all, Tuesday marks an important day for markets, as multiple events and developments can potentially shape the investor landscape ahead. In addition, an array of news could have implications across many industries and sectors in the days and months to come.